Brewer company adds composite tub girder to its bridge designs

BREWER. Maine (WABI) - A designer and supplier of composite bridge systems in Brewer has announced a new addition.

The hope is this advancement in technology will be a positive change for bridge construction.

"The infrastructure problems that we have across the country need to be addressed,” said Kenneth Sweeney of AIT Bridges in Brewer.

Maine's bridges are a concern for one designer and supplier of composite bridge systems in Brewer.

Kenneth Sweeney serves as AIT Bridges president and lead engineer.

His team at AIT, along with The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composite Center, are launching a composite tub girder.

Engineers hope that this composite tub girder will be a game change for bridge construction here in Maine.

"We call it the 72-hour bridge,” explained Dr. Habib Dagher of the University of Maine. “The idea here is to build bridges a lot faster than we do today, a lot less expensive than we do today, and that would last quite a bit longer."

"They're lightweight,” said Sweeney. “They're corrosion resistant to deicing salts in the winter. The environment won't hurt them unlike other materials, steel and concrete, which are subject to corrosion. And these bridges are designed to last over 100 years."

Engineers at AIT Bridges and the University of Maine say this technology will provide Maine DOT and others around the country with more options when it comes to bridge construction.

"We're also able to spread this knowledge,” said Sweeney. “To spread it around New England. To spread it around the U.S. and to spread it internationally."

This extension of AIT Bridges' product offerings was created not only to provide jobs to the area but to also provide a long term solution to traditional steel and concrete girders.

They're currently in the process of manufacturing girders for their first bridge to be constructed in Hampden on Route 1-A.

"If we can build bridges that last longer and take a lot less time to make and so forth, and create jobs in Maine at the same time, that's a win for everybody,” said Dagher.